God will circumcise thine heart - This promise remains yet to be fulfilled. Their heart, as a people, has never yet been circumcised; nor have the various promises in this chapter been ever yet fulfilled. There remaineth, therefore, a rest for this people of God. Now, as the law, properly speaking, made no provision for the circumcision of the heart, which implies the remission of sins, and purification of the soul from all unrighteousness; and as circumcision itself was only a sign of spiritual good, consequently the promise here refers to the days of the Messiah, and to this all the prophets and all the apostles give witness: "for circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter," Romans 2:29; and the genuine followers of God are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands - by the circumcision of Christ," Colossians 2:11, Colossians 2:12. Hence we see these promises cannot be fulfilled to the Jews but in their embracing the Gospel of Christ. To look, therefore, for their restoration is idle and nugatory, while their obstinacy and unbelief remain.
The rejection of Israel and the desolation of the promised inheritance were not to be the end of God‘s dispensations. The closing words of the address therefore are words of comfort and promise. Compare marginal reference and Deuteronomy 4:29 ff; 1 Kings 8:46-50.
The chastisements of God would lead the nation to repent, and thereupon God would again bless them.
Will turn thy captivity - Will change or put an end to thy state of captivity or distress (compare Psalm 14:7; Psalm 85:2; Jeremiah 30:18). The rendering of the Greek version is significant; “the Lord will heal thy sins.”
The promises of this and the following verses had no doubt their partial fulfillment in the days of the Judges; but the fact that various important features are repeated in Jeremiah 32:37 ff, and in Ezekiel 11:19 ff, Ezekiel 34:13 ff, Ezekiel 36:24 ff, shows us that none of these was regarded as exhausting the promises. In full analogy with the scheme of prophecy we may add that the return from the Babylonian captivity has not exhausted their depth. The New Testament takes up the strain (e. g. in John 11:51-52. Then shall there be “one fold and one shepherd” John 10:16. But whether the general conversion of the Jews shall be accompanied with any national restoration, any recovery of their ancient prerogatives as the chosen people; and further, whether there shall be any local replacement of them in the land of their fathers, may be regarded as of “the secret things” which belong unto God Deuteronomy 29:29; and so indeed our Lord Himself teaches us Acts 1:6-7.
Circumcise thine heart - Compare Deuteronomy 10:16 note; Jeremiah 32:39; Ezra 11:19.
To love God with all the heart, to be a partaker with Christ in His humiliation and suffering, means more than many understand. The atonement of Christ is the great central truth around which cluster all the truths that pertain to the great work of redemption. The mind of man is to blend with the mind of Christ. This union sanctifies the understanding, giving the thoughts clearness and force.... LHU 229.4Read in context »
Evangelistic Canvassers in Place of Living Preacher—Canvassing for our publications is an important and most profitable line of evangelistic work. Our publications can go to places where meetings cannot be held. In such places the faithful evangelistic canvasser takes the place of the living preacher. By the canvassing work the truth is presented to thousands who otherwise would never hear it. PM 280.1
I feel very sorry to know that so many of the books which should be finding ready sale are lying on the office shelves. These books contain the light that people need. May the Lord move upon many of our young people to enter His service as evangelistic canvassers. Our time for work is short. Many, very many, need the promptitude of the “quickly” in them, to lead them to arouse and go to work. The Lord calls for workers just now.... PM 280.2
Our commission is to let the light shine forth everywhere from the press. By the printed page the light reaches the isolated ones, who have no opportunity to hear the living preacher. This is most blessed missionary work. Canvassers can be the Lord's helping hand, opening doors for the entrance of truth.—The Review and Herald, October 7, 1902. PM 280.3
Canvassers to Warn the Cities While It Is Possible—Who can question that we are living in perilous times? When Christ portrayed the destruction of Jerusalem, He looked down the ages and included in His description the still more awful destruction of the world. And He declares, “As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37-39). PM 280.4Read in context »
It is God that circumcises the heart. The whole work is the Lord's from the beginning to the end. The perishing sinner may say: “I am a lost sinner; but Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. He says, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’ (Mark 2:17). I am a sinner, and He died upon Calvary's cross to save me. I need not remain a moment longer unsaved. He died and rose again for my justification, and He will save me now. I accept the forgiveness He has promised.” 1SM 392.1
Christ is a risen Saviour; for, though He was dead, He has risen again, and ever liveth to make intercession for us. We are to believe with the heart unto righteousness, and with the mouth make confession unto salvation. Those who are justified by faith will make confession of Christ. “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). The great work that is wrought for the sinner who is spotted and stained by evil is the work of justification. By Him who speaketh truth he is declared righteous. The Lord imputes unto the believer the righteousness of Christ and pronounces him righteous before the universe. He transfers his sins to Jesus, the sinner's representative, substitute, and surety. Upon Christ He lays the iniquity of every soul that believeth. “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). 1SM 392.2
Christ made satisfaction for the guilt of the whole world, and all who will come to God in faith, will receive the righteousness of Christ, “who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Our sin has been expiated, put away, cast into the depths of the sea. Through repentance and faith we are rid of sin, and look unto the Lord our righteousness. Jesus suffered, the just for the unjust. 1SM 392.3Read in context »
The Lord loves us, and we are to love Him with the whole heart. Ask Him to guide you into all truth. He will do this. He longs to do it. He is waiting for you to ask Him with true humility and a firm belief that He will hear and answer you.24 TMK 202.5Read in context »